Of the Trees and the Birds

Of the Trees and the Birds

Ian Parsons

  • An accessible, but in-depth, study of the relationships that exist between two of our favourite things, trees and birds
  • Discover this complex partnership and marvel at the wonders of Nature
  • A readable look at the intricate symbiotic connections between birds and trees, opening the door for the reader to enter in to the fascinating intertwined world of the two


Print edition: £18.99
240 x 170mm
176 pages
inc colour section of 35 photos
August 2024

Trees and birds go together, and they have done for millions of years, evolving long before we did. Over their long and shared history, they have formed numerous relationships, some of which are basic and obvious to us, like a bird using a tree to perch in whilst searching for food. Others are more intricate, but still noticeable to us, with the classic example being that many tree species use birds to propagate their next generation by providing their seed wrapped in nutritious food parcels that we call berries. But even this relationship can be more involved than it at first seems, with some trees using lethal methods to ensure that they get the seed courier method they want, whilst other trees use ultraviolet signals to inform the birds that the berries are ready and even change the shade of the berry to indicate whether it is best eaten in the evening or the morning.

And then there are those relationships that we are only just beginning to discover that lead to a whole host of fascinating questions: can birds identify individual tree species? Can trees ‘talk’ to birds, can they ask them for help?

The intimate links between trees and birds are extremely intricate, they can be invisible to us, they can be incomprehensible to us, but they are always amazing. Of the Trees and the Birds considers how these may have started and where we are today in our understanding of them. Sometimes we misunderstand those relationships and sometimes our actions result in their breakdown – which can be catastrophic for entire ecosystems.

We need to be aware of these relationships – marvel at and celebrate them – after all the history of Britain would be very different without them. Nature is amazing in all aspects!

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